Anthony Kuhn

International Correspondent Anthony Kuhn official base is Jakarta, Indonesia, where he opened NPR's first bureau in that country in 2010. From there, he has covered Southeast Asia, and the gamut of natural and human diversity stretching from Myanmar to Fiji and Vietnam to Tasmania. During 2013-2014, he is covering Beijing, China, as NPR's Louisa Lim is on fellowship.

Prior to Jakarta, Kuhn spent five years based in Beijing as a NPR foreign correspondent reporting on China and Northeast Asia. In that time Kuhn covered stories including the effect of China's resurgence on rest of the world, diplomacy and the environment, the ancient cultural traditions that still exert a profound influence in today's China, and the people's quest for social justice in a period of rapid modernization and uneven development. His beat also included such diverse topics as popular theater in Japan and the New York Philharmonic's 2008 musical diplomacy tour to Pyongyang, North Korea.

In 2004-2005, Kuhn was based in London for NPR. He covered stories ranging from the 2005 terrorist attacks on London's transport system to the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. In the spring of 2005, he reported from Iraq on the formation of the post-election interim government.

Kuhn began contributing reports to NPR from China in 1996. During that time, he also worked as an accredited freelance reporter with the Los Angeles Times, and as Beijing correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review.

In what felt to him a previous incarnation, Kuhn once lived on Manhattan's Lower East Side and walked down Broadway to work in Chinatown as a social worker. He majored in French literature at Washington University in St. Louis. He gravitated to China in the early 1980s, studying first at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute and later at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.

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3:24 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

As Palm Oil Farms Expand, It's A Race To Save Indonesia's Orangutans

A baby orangutan wearing a diaper swings through the trees at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program outside Medan, capital of Indonesia's North Sumatra province. The program takes mostly orphaned orangutans, nurses them back to health and releases them back into the wild.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 10:40 pm

On a hillside on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, about 50 red-haired refugees are learning how to be orangutans once again. The country's booming palm oil industry has encroached on their habitats, leaving many of them homeless and orphaned.

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3:30 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

The Anti-Pollution Documentary That's Taken China By Storm

Journalist Chai Jing used $160,000 of her own money to produce a documentary on China's air pollution problem.
Screenshot/Under the Dome

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:29 pm

Two hundred million and counting: That's how many times a documentary about China's massive air pollution problem has been viewed online since the weekend. Environmentalists are hailing it as an eye-opener for Chinese citizens.

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Asia
5:09 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Indonesia's New President Runs Into Political Challenges

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:52 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Asia
4:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
5:29 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Indonesia's President: Fan Of Megadeth, Defender Of Death Penalty

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects an honor guard during a visit to Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 9. Widodo's supporters see him as very different from the strongmen who have long run Indonesia. But he has dismayed some of his backers with his strong support of the death penalty.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 9:20 am

Indonesian President Joko Widodo took office a little more than 100 days ago, buoyed by sky-high expectations for political change. He's seen as very different from the strongmen and power brokers who have dominated the country for decades.

And he's certainly unconventional. He's an avid fan of heavy metal groups like Metallica and Megadeth. He's been photographed wearing black Napalm Death T-shirts and flashing the "devil's horns" hand sign.

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3:31 am
Tue February 17, 2015

So An American Comic Walks Into A Chinese Bar ...

Comedian Jesse Appell performs at a club in Beijing. Appell won a scholarship in 2012 to study comedy in China and has been performing on the country's small but growing stand-up comedy circuit.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 9:28 am

When American comic Jesse Appell first arrived in China, his intestinal fortitude was tested by Beijing street food. And that's become material his stand-up act, which was on display recently at the Hot Cat Club, a small but popular Beijing bar and performance venue.

"I ate at restaurants that hadn't been renovated in so long they still had portraits of [Chairman] Mao up on the wall," he says.

The Mao reference seems suitably ancient to the young crowd of expats, and they burst out laughing.

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4:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

One County Provides Preview Of China's Looming Aging Crisis

Senior citizens eat dinner in the unheated dining room of their government-funded retirement home in rapidly aging Juegang Township, Rudong County, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Just a few years ago, the town had only one such facility; now it has five.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:33 pm

A decade from now, about 2025, experts predict that China's population will peak — reaching as high as 1.4 billion — and begin to steadily decline. Some of them are predicting that a shrinking, aging population could lead to a national crisis.

One way to peer into the future is to visit a county in eastern China that pioneered population controls a decade before the rest of the country — and is now feeling their impact.

Rudong County is in Jiangsu province, on China's east coast just north of where the Yangtze River empties into the East China Sea.

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Asia
5:03 am
Wed December 31, 2014

2014 Got Off To A Tense Start For China

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 8:09 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
5:25 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Bodies, Debris Spotted In Java Sea

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 12:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we have an update now on the search for that jetliner that went missing over the weekend. AirAsia says they can confirm now that debris and bodies found in the sea off the coast of Indonesia are from that missing plane, which had 162 people on board.

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Asia
5:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Rescue Official Believes AirAsia Flight Is On Ocean's Floor

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 9:11 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
7:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

AirAsia Flight Goes Missing With 162 Aboard

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 11:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
5:15 am
Mon December 22, 2014

U.S Turns To China For Help With North Korea Cyberattack

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
4:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Japan May Be In A Post-Growth Era, With Or Without Abe

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Asia
5:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Is 'Womenomics' The Answer To Japan's Economic Woes?

Lumberjack Yukiko Koyama cuts pine trees on a hillside overlooking Matsumoto City in Nagano prefecture on Japan's central Honshu island. Koyama's employment at a local timber mill is partially subsidized by a government program to get more Japanese women into the workforce.
Yo Nagaya NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Yukiko Koyama kicked around Tokyo for a few years looking for the right job. For a while, she designed costumes for classical ballet dancers. But she longed to work in the great outdoors, and to find a job she could really sink her teeth into.

Two years ago, she found just the right thing for her: sinking a chainsaw's teeth into the pine forests of Matsumoto City in landlocked Nagano prefecture. Forests there on the central island of Honshu have been growing since the end of World War II, and many are in need of weeding.

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

In China, One Woman's Challenge To The Legal System

Chinese customs officials, like the ones shown here in August at the Lukou International Airport in Nanjing, have broad powers to confiscate items. One woman who had copies of her father's memoir seized has sued the government.
Xie Mingming Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:55 am

This year, significant legal reforms have tried to make China's judiciary more accountable, and make it easier for citizens to sue the government.

But those changes may not take effect soon enough to help Chinese citizens who are punished without being told exactly what they did wrong.

One Chinese woman is suing the government for what she says is exactly this predicament.

The case will go to trial even as China is taking unprecedented steps to reform its legal system.

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Asia
4:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Japan Dissolves Parliament, Prime Minister Calls For New Elections

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Asia
5:06 am
Fri November 14, 2014

China Agrees To Pollution Limits, But Will It Make A Difference?

A jogger goes for a run amid heavy smog in Shanghai on Wednesday. China has for the first time agreed to limit its carbon emissions, but critics are questioning whether the move goes far enough.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:58 pm

All this week, Beijing residents have had a breath of fresh air. With world leaders in town for a summit meeting, China shut down factories, took many cars off the roads and declared a week-long vacation for many Beijing residents.

If only the skies were always this blue, some residents thought.

But of course no quick fix will solve the problem. China promised for the first time that its emissions will continue to climb until peaking around the year 2030.

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Asia
5:01 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Pyongyang Releases 2 U.S. Citizens Who Were Held For Months

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 8:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
4:21 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Chinese Tech Company Combines Multiple App Types Into One — At Great Profit

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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12:51 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

The App That Helps The Chinese Masses Mobilize Online

China's WeChat messaging app has a huge audience that allows Chinese to organize online.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 6:32 pm

The mobile messaging app WeChat has taken China by storm in the past couple years, swiftly becoming the largest standalone-messaging app, with more than 300 million active monthly users.

It has an ever-growing array of functions, from text and voice messaging to photo sharing. Perhaps most importantly, WeChat users also have the ability to form groups of up to 500 people.

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